NEW BRITAIN - With graduation coming up later this month, two New Britain High School Health Academy students are putting the final touches on their commencement speeches.
Gabriella Roy was recently named the valedictorian of the NBHS Class of 2018 and her peer, Manuel Rivas, has earned the title of salutatorian.
Roy and Rivas are both members of the school’s Health Academy and plan on continuing their education in science at the next level. Roy said she’s going to major in Nursing at the University of Connecticut. Rivas plans on heading to Central Connecticut State University to study biology.
Both students said their time at the Health Academy helped steer them toward what specific science they were passionate about.
“I’ve always known that I wanted to be in the medical field, but didn’t really know specifically until about sophomore year,” Roy said. “Each year there’s a different class and it kind of shows you different experiences in the medical field.”
Rivas said he joined the Health Academy as a sophomore.
“It really exposed me to all these different areas of science that I never really thought about, so it just caught my attention. It led me to make my career decision,” Rivas said.
Other than schoolwork, Roy and Rivas kept busy with sports and extracurricular activities. Roy played soccer, basketball and softball all four years at NBHS and Rivas was on the track and cross-country team. Roy said time management was key while at NBHS.
Roy and Rivas said incoming NBHS students should do their best to be as involved as possible. There are lots of clubs and groups to be affiliated with that help make high school enjoyable, the 2018 graduates said.
“Take advantage of all the opportunities New Britain High gives. There’s so many that I don’t think people see,” Roy said. “Develop awesome relationships with your teachers, the teachers are amazing and they want you to succeed.”
Rivas echoed similar sentiments.
“Definitely get involved, because there’s a lot of clubs here that probably fit your interest,” Rivas said. “Also, surround yourself with people who are like minded, because that’s a big influence on your four years here.”
Roy, who has been in the New Britain school system through her whole education, thanked her close family and extended family in Peru for their continuous support. She thanked her hometown for molding her.
“Big thanks to New Britain. I think New Britain doesn’t always have the best reputation but I’ve lived in New Britain since I was young and I can’t say enough about it,” Roy said. “There’s so many opportunities. Everyone in this city wants to see you succeed.” Rivas said.
Skyler Frazer can be reached at 860-801-5087 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.